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Woolmer case; Police to order new post mortem

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 9:40 [IST]
 
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London, Mar 28: Jamaica police will order a second post- mortem examination &13;on Woolmer's dead body to guard against possible ''bungling claims'' of the &13;first report and to release the body to the late coach's family for burial &13;without further delay, according to a report.

According to The Times, &13;the move came as Woolmer's personal effects were released to his wife in South &13;Africa, apart from his mobile phone and laptop computer, which were being &13;examined for possible clues as to who killed the late Pakistan coach. &13;

Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields said a second post mortem &13;would pre-empt likely claims by a defence lawyer at a murder trial that the &13;local pathologist who concluded Woolmer was strangulated to death had made &13;mistakes.

''If we arrest someone and charge them, the defence counsel &13;will want a second post mortem,'' the newspaper quoted Shields as saying. &13;

By ordering a follow-up examination now, probably by flying in a &13;pathologist from the United States, Shields will be able to release Woolmer's &13;body for burial in South Africa without waiting for an inquest, which could be &13;weeks away.

It also removes the possibility of having to exhume the body &13;if a defence team tries to cast doubt on the findings of Dr Ere Seshaiah, the &13;Kingston pathologist who concluded that Woolmer was killed by ''manual &13;strangulation''.

''Although there is no evidence that Seshaiah bungled &13;the post mortem, allegations have been privately levelled by former Test players &13;in the Caribbean and officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) that Woolmer &13;was not murdered but died of natural causes,'' the report said. &13;

According to the report, Shields, however, claimed that he was in &13;possession of evidence from the crime scene that had not been made public and &13;that made murder a certainty.

''There is very clear evidence of &13;murder,'' he said.

Shields also gave warning that there could be no &13;quick solution to the case. He added that Jamaican officials were poring over &13;hours of closed-circuit TV footage taken from Woolmer's 12th-floor bedroom at &13;Pegasus Hotel ''frame-by-frame''.

Woolmer, a former England Test player, &13;was found murdered in his Kingston hotel room hours after Pakistan had been &13;knocked out of the cricket World Cup by Ireland.

UNI

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